Learn About the First Thanksgiving With a Once-A-Week Unit Study (A Homeschool Crew Review)

I love unit studies, ya’ll. But I have to admit that I’m sometimes afraid that if I do a unit study with the kids we’ll miss out on all the “real school” we should be doing. Because, obviously, if something’s fun- like a unit study- we aren’t “really learning,” right? NO! That’s totally wrong. But I am sometimes brainwashed into thinking this.

Unit studies for homeschool

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So what’s a unit study loving homeschool mom who still wants to do “real school” to do? Use Once-A-Week Unit Studies from Homeschool Legacy. We have had the opportunity to use and review several of these great unit studies over the past couple of years. We recently reviewed- just in time for the holidays- Once-A-Week Micro-Studies: Thanksgiving With the Pilgrims from Homeschool Legacy. This was s digital download that we received.

About Homeschool Legacy

Homeschool Legacy is an awesome homeschool curriculum provider created by a homeschool mom. The company produces unit studies that are based on a Christian worldview. One interesting fact for my Scouts friends: Homeschool Legacy unit studies often meet requirements for the Boy Scouts and American Heritage Girls. If you look under the Info tab on the Homeschool Legacy menu you can find a list of unit studies that correspond to badge requirements.

What’s a Once-A-Week Unit Study?

So, what’s the difference between a unit study and a Once-A-Week unit study? The creator of the Homeschool Legacy unit studies has taken a unique approach. The studies are designed to be completed by using them one day a week. This means that you can use your regular curricula four days a week and still have fun learning with unit studies.

These unit studies are designed to be used with multiple ages so that the whole family can learn together. There is reading within the unit study and there are books suggested for reading as well.  Some of the reading will be done more often, but the activities are designed to be done on the one day a week that you use the study.

What’s Different About Micro-Studies?

The study that we reviewed is considered a micro-study, and Homeschool Legacy has several of these. The micro-studies are still designed to be used once-a-week and they still include fun and learning that can be used by multiple grades. But there are some differences.

  • They have three main assignments each week, all about thirty minutes long.
  • They only come in digital format. 
  • They are for grades 1-8, while the original studies are considered for grades 2-12.
  • They don’t have a family devotional for each lesson. The original studies have a devotional time included in each day’s study.
  • They don’t meet scout requirements as many of the other studies do.
Thanksgiving unit study

Thanksgiving With the Pilgrims and How We Used It

The Thanksgiving With the Pilgrims study is a micro-study, meaning that is intended for grades 1-8. I used it with Ashlyne- grade 7- and Rachel- grade 6. The study has six weekly lessons:
  • The Scrooby Separatists
  • The Voyage
  • At Home in Plymouth
  • Happy Thanksgiving!
  • The Puritans
  • Merry Christmas!
Although these are considered once-a-week studies, I did several weeks in one in order to get through more during the review period. One thing that I like about the way that these studies- and the original ones- are set up is that they are very flexible. Sure, you can use them once-a-week if you have other curricula to use. But, you can also easily use them more often. The micro-studies can especially be completed more quickly because there isn’t as much work scheduled in a day. And a holiday study like this one is especially nice to be completed in a week leading up to the holiday, I think.
At the beginning of the study there are three read-aloud books suggested. Then each day has three sections of reading included on the main topic for the day. Within each section of reading is included an activity. Some of these activities included clicking links to look at pictures and videos, finding places in an atlas, defining words, making Indian Pudding, and stringing popcorn and cranberries. At the beginning of each week’s lesson is a list of supplies that you’ll need for that week. This is convenient because you can glance at it ahead of time to make sure that you have everything.
Some of the activities that we particularly enjoyed included looking at photos and videos of reenactors at Plimouth Plantation who demonstrated how the Pilgrims would have sailed on the Mayflower as well as what life would have been like for them in the New World.

Thanksgiving unit study activity

There is much more to this unit study than just a glib recounting of Pilgrims and Indians at the first Thanksgiving. Instead we learned all about why the Separatists wanted to leave England, who they sailed with, why they were known as Pilgrims, how they established a village in the New World, who were the Indians they met, and what life was like for them through their first year leading up to their Thanksgiving celebration. The study ends by explaining why the Puritans wouldn’t have celebrated Christmas but gives a look into how Christmas celebrations became popular once again. 
If you chose to begin this study in the first week of November, you could easily take the weeks of November to work up through the first Thanksgiving, and then the first week of December would focus on the Christmas celebration study. Or you could choose to do the first five weeks in the week leading up to Thanksgiving and then complete the study the week after Thanksgiving, looking forward to the coming of Christmas.

What Did We Think?

As always, I loved this study from Homeschool Legacy. I like the flexibility of the studies. I like that I can find the information that we need to complete the activities easily. I like that in these micro-studies, there are links to information and activities on the web.
The girls enjoyed the study. One of their favorite parts was seeing the reenactors at Plimout Plantation. I think that this made the Pilgrims more real to them and gave them a glimpse of what life was really like for them- beyond just a simple Pilgrims and Indians Thanksgiving story.
We’ll definitely continue to look for other Homeschool Legacy studies that fit with what we’re learning!

Other Studies Reviewed by The Homeschool Crew

The Crew had the opportunity to review this study and several others:
You can read what Crew members thought be clicking below.

Once-a-Week Studies {Homeschool Legacy}

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